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Correctional Officer Charged with Passing Notes to Inmate

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RALEIGH — For the third time this year, a female correctional officer has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with an inmate. More arrests could be on the way.

Sheron White, 39, turned in her badge this week. Investigators said White had given a pair of notes to an inmate she met at Central Prison while she was training to become a correctional officer.

"I don't know the specific wording of the letters, but they were sexually explicit letters," said Tracy Little,N.C. Department of Correctionspokeswoman.

White is the third female officer from Central Prison arrested in the past four months for having an improper relationship with an inmate.

In March, Lavonda Armstrong was accused of giving an inmate a nude picture of herself.

Two months later,Cassandra Hamilton resignedafter investigators said she had sex with an inmate at the prison.

Little said all of the arrests are a result of a broaderState Bureau of Investigationinquiry.

In March, the staff at Central Prison contacted the SBI after an internal investigation about possible inappropriate relationships between officers and inmates, Little said. The investigation is open and continuing, she added.

The department does not believe it has a major problem on its hands. It adds that at any one time, several SBI investigations are ongoing at its facilities.

"I would certainly think, in terms of these types of relationships...our numbers are on-par or below other departments of correction around the country," she said.

With thousands of inmates and officers together 24 hours a day, the department says it expects allegations of improper contact.